The left-wing climate outrage machine needs some new talking points

As I pointed out here yesterday, when President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto agreement on global climate change, the left-wing outrage machine went into full tilt. The Guardian newspaper declared: “Suddenly, in the space of two short months, America, the ‘indispensable nation,’ begins to resemble the ultimate rogue state.”

Fast forward a decade and a half, as President Donald Trump pulls the United States out of the Paris agreement on global climate change. The New York Times this morning reports that “Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, said Mr. Trump’s decision had turned the United States into ‘a rogue state.’”

As Yogi Berra once said, it’s like déjà vu all over again.

This is the same Mary Robinson, who, as United Nations’ high commissioner on human rights, presided over the disastrous 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, which she allowed to become an Israel-bashing melee, including a draft communiqué equating Zionism with racism which prompted the United States and Israel to pull out of the conference.  So we should take her definition of a “rogue state” with a grain of salt.

The left-wing climate outrage machine needs some new talking points. Of course, the United States is not a rogue state. Quite the opposite, we are a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. According to the EPA, between 2000 and 2014, America reduced its carbon emissions by more than 18% — faster than most of the European countries now in a state of apoplexy over Trump’s Paris withdrawal.  Our carbon emissions today are back to the levels of the early 1990s.

Not only have we reduced emissions faster than Europe, we did it without harming American consumers with large spikes in electricity process. The Wall Street Journal points out: “According to a 2014 Manhattan Institute study, the average cost of residential electricity in 2012 was 12 cents per kilowatt hour in the U.S. but an average 26 cents in the European Union and 35 cents in Germany. The average price of electricity in the EU soared 55% from 2005 to 2013.”

The fact is, US carbon emissions will likely continue to decline after Trump’s Paris withdrawal for the same simple reason our emissions have been declining faster than Europe’s since Bush’s withdrawal from Kyoto: the free enterprise system. It is free enterprise, technology, and innovation — not pieces of parchment signed in Paris and Kyoto — that will revolutionize how we produce and consume energy over the course of the coming century. And that revolution will reduce emissions even further.

In fact, our emissions will arguably decline faster because of Trump’s withdrawal — because our free market economy will be stronger and more innovative without it. The Paris agreement would have reduced US GDP by $3 trillion over the coming decades. What would we have gotten for that enormous price? According to researchers at MIT, even if the Paris agreement was fully implemented, it would have reduced the global temperature rise by less than 0.17 degrees Celsius by 2100. Think about that: Less than two-tenths of a percent temperature effect … eighty-three years from now.  To put that in perspective, consider: If your spouse changed the thermostat in your house by 0.17 degrees, you would not even notice. Is a 0.17 degree temperature effect worth a $3 trillion hit to our economy?  Of course not.

The fact is, America has done more to reduce our emissions than all the European countries in a miasma of outrage today. We did so not through a government mandate, but through innovation.  And we did it without imposing massive increases in energy costs on hard-working citizens. And we’ll keep doing it in the decades to come because America is the world’s leader in technological innovation.

Not bad for a “rogue state.”


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Πηγή: American Enterprise Institute

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